Playful, elegant, and not above the judicious use of the word “shit."

Happy Second Annual Dooce Got Fired Day

With all the exciting sleeplessness going on in the Armstrong household I somehow managed to forget the anniversary of losing my job because of this website. If you are unfamiliar with what happened you can read about it here or here, but all you really need to know is this:

You shouldn’t write about your job on your website.

Last year I celebrated the first anniversary by opening up comments and asking readers to share what song and book they’d take with them if they had to flee a nuclear holocaust. I thought that would be a healthy alternative to how I really wanted to celebrate which was to drink a lot of alcohol and take a lot of drugs and listen to a lot of Joy Division. I was in a bad place last year.

This year I’m in a much better place albeit a much less rested place. Even if I weren’t breastfeeding and could drink alcohol or take drugs I probably wouldn’t because that would mean I could miss a frog smile or a frog sigh or a frog flailing of the legs while I’m temporarily not sober and considering that there are a limited number of frog smiles before they turn into frog screams and frog slamming of doors and frog outbursts of the You’re totally embarrassing me, mom! variety, being temporarily not sober right now is just not worth the sacrifice.

This year I’d like to open up comments again, a highly dangerous endeavor on this website as my comments section tends to attract the most deranged people on the internet. I guess I’m so sleep deprived right now that I’m looney enough to take this risk.

This year’s question is more job-related seeing as I am celebrating the loss of a job-related thing, that being my job.

What is the most insane thing your boss has ever said to you?

I’ll go first, and this is totally 100% pure and complete genuine truth:

“You look like a naughty school girl in those black tights. I’d like to spank your bottom.”

Why I didn’t sue that company for the entire $70 million dollars in venture capital it wasted is one of the true mysteries of my life. I think I just ignored the whole thing because my boss was British and had really bad teeth, and I figured that British men with really bad teeth just didn’t know any better.

(note: House Rules still apply for commenting. House Rules are as follows: 1) Be nice. 2) Don’t say anything mean about Britney Spears.)

  • From a former female boss: “Maybe you’ll lose this baby too” said with much hope after two previoius miscarriages. It seems that the timing of this pregnancy was inconvenient to the company calendar.

  • karen

    Well I’m still in high school, and I haven’t ever had a real job, but this happened one time when I was babysitting:

    There was kind of a party at their house, so everyone was drunk already but they were moving to the bar which is why I was going to babysit. The dad says to the mom, very loudly (not to me, but I was in the room) “I’m so small, when we’re having sex I’m sucking my own dink!” Everybody was laughing REALLY hard, but I was just sitting there in my shameful silence, so the dad walks by me and says “oh. Sorry!” And then the mom laughingly called him a jerk, and then they left, and then I couldn’t look at him when they came home.

  • Springlet

    My boss used to ask me to drop off his dry-cleaning on Fridays. He lived on an island off the mainland and flew home, I kept his yuppie-mobile for the weekend. This was fine until I took in a pair of slacks covered in a certain bodily fluid.

    If that wasn’t gross enough, it was created from poking his wife. It was from poking his mistress who also happened to be the secretary of a company we were suing.

    Relief would be the word that describes the feeling when that company went under.

  • Chandra

    though I am a wedding coordinator, my current top boss is a charming dictator of a two-year-old who informed me from the backseat yesterday that…
    H: Mama, Dr. Rush won’t take baby Max out of your tummy.
    me: Actually, he will, but not for awhile
    H ponders this for awhile and then he says: Okay, but Baby Max won’t come live at our house. See that nice house over there, Mama? He can live there, FAR AWAY.

    Yikes.

    This was followed by an announcement that when he was big he would be going to school, but not in a school bus. I said, “Oh no?” and he informed me he would be going by limo.

    Working weddings, I get my ass smacked by site coordinators and hit on by drunk uncles/groomsmen to often to mention.

  • jo

    I just want to say thank you. It is a joy to be able to finally thank the woman who inspired me to start my own blog. Who makes me obessively hit refresh to be sure that really, no, she hasn’t writted a new blog. That indeed the cache on my machine is correct, she is busy HAVING A LIFE and I will have to wait until Leta has been fed, burped and is napping peacefully.
    And I just want to say….Please give Chuck a big old belly scratch for me.
    And damn, you are the funniest, wisest, and most brilliant southern belle to grace the web. Really, honest, your non-sycophantic fan.

  • (This was last year around this time.)
    The intelligence we received from the CIA is inherently faulty, but it is as good as it going to get. I’m about to go on the air during prime time and make the case for invasion. I know you and Rummy don’t get along, but I’m going to ask you to tow the party line on this one.

  • soot

    fat assed chong said “i will personally sue u”. Come on, fat un. wat r u waiting for?

  • just wanted to say i love your site and your humor:)

  • I worked in marketing for this awful data center when Sept. 11 happened. Management wanted to “jump on the opportunity” to get some clients for their disaster recovery product. Thay actually wanted to take out a full-page ad in the NY Times and do a direct mail campaign to those affected at WTF (I don’t know where the hell they thought they would mail them to??) Us “know-nothing” marketing pee-ons suggested this may not be the right time to run this campaign, given that companies were trying to deal with the gravity of the situation. (Our office was in CT, very close to NYC so I was very surprised at their insensitivity.)

    Management’s response: (in a bullish tone) “People are strong, they’ll get over it.”

    Needless to say, the company’s not doing well. I was glad when they laid me off. F-ing ambulance chasers.

  • My boss once left me a note on the computer saying she owed me some money and wouldn’t be in until later but “much love and lezzy kisses”.

    Whooo! Score! Sidenote: She’s now one of my best friends. Go figure.

  • “You know, I didn’t have to be nice to you when your father died.”

  • kat

    well, this seems dull, but i was working for minimum wage, the only “help” in the veterinarian’s office on sundays…and he told me i had to punch out for lunch. okay, i was a kid, what did i know? so i am off the clock, nibbling lunch with one hand, filing patient records with the other, and the phone rings at the desk where he is parked, reading the newspaper….he glares at me across the room and says “AREN’T YOU GOING TO ANSWER THAT!?”

  • I recently worked in a high-end French restaurant with my sister, and one evening her boyfriend came by to pick us up after work. He had recently been on a 2-week-long trip to England on business, and our boss says to him (while we are standing there) “So…get any strange?” None of us were up on the slang, and my sister’s boyfriend says, “What?” “Sex. You know. From other people.” None of us said anything.

    This was the same boss who wrote a check to me for tip-outs, writing in the amount for my sister’s as well. He was surprised when he handed it to me and I said, “But we don’t live together.” He said, “Well, can’t you cash it and give the rest to your sister?” This, at a time when I did not have a driver’s lisence, more appropriately no car, and needless to say he refused to void the check and write two separate ones.

  • Upon being hired as sports bar “cocktail waitresses” (our actual job title) for the summer, my friends and I were told that if the manager EVER felt that any of us weren’t wearing enough makeup, or if our hair looked ugly, he reserved the right to send us home so we could “fix [ourselves] up.” Being 18, we took the job. One day, I was actually sent home at the start of my shift to CHANGE MY SPORTS BRA because it was GRAY and the tank top I was wearing over it was WHITE. I’m ashamed to say that I obliged.
    I deserved everything I got for agreeing to work for such a revolting establishment, including all the money I made by robbing them blind.

  • Dagna

    My boss asked me to call the pro-shop at a local golf club and have whoever was on duty describe all the women’s FootJoy shoes in the catalog to me. Like me and the golf pros have nothing better do!! I went online and printed up a picture of the shoes for him.

  • Amy Lynn

    My boss is the owner of the company, and makes no effort to hide his personal affluence. Last year he remodeled his 11,000 sq ft home, bought luxury car NUMBER THREE, had his property landscaped and bought another purebred dog. And, oh yeah, handed me a $500 bonus while mumbling “It wasn’t the best year for us, financially.”

  • Another Pam

    (about a year or so ago)Boss:”uh could you make us one of those webpage sites? Cause you know, the internet is REALLY taking off right now!”
    me:”really? is it?”
    dumbfoundingly stupid

  • Sara

    We’d always had hints that our boss would drink while on the job, bottles, beer breath, drunken stumbling, etc., but being a small company, with mostly friends employed, no one cared. One morning when my boss was opening by himself until i got there at ten, i walked in to find him laying on the floor in the big walk-in cooler, a line of beer bottles longer than him, and three jugs of vodka, empty, surrounding him. When he realized i was there; he started screaming “WHO ARE YOU?! GET OUT OF MY HOUSE! GET OUT! NOW! BEFORE I SHOOT YOU! WHO ARE YOU?!!” then he got up and chased me to the front door, which was locked, waving the huge pizza cutting rocker knife. i unlocked the door, setting off the alarm, and ran terror-stricken down Tiny Little Midwest Town, Iowa, to the police station three blocks away.
    Being 17, i was of course scared pee-less. that went down as the Scariest Moment Ever, until 2nd year of college.

  • Jinny

    Once when I was team lead I had a co-worker ask me a question. The same question had been asked by someone else the day before and we had asked the supervisor for an official answer. I gave her the official answer but I guess the coordinater wanted to argue about it. So the co-worker and I are at the coordinater’s desk and I am telling her that I got the answer for the supe. just yesterday. The Supe. who sits in the next cube comes over and tells me, ‘You can’t go by what I said yesterday. You can never go by what I have said in the past’. I gave up being team lead that day.

  • Jinny

    Another one..but this is from my husband. Our dog had been stung by something and his head was all swollen. Well, my husband explained to his boss (note: he has only been on this job for three weeks now) that he has to leave early to take the dog to the vet. The boss says, and I quote, ‘I know what can help your dog, a .45 between the eyes.’ It makes me sick to even think about it.

  • Carla Beth

    (Just one more …) My work-related search for real estate on eBay yesterday produced an ad that described a lovely home as having a “nice kitchen with a large panty.”

  • mb

    I worked for a company run out of a guy’s house that was ostensibly a non-cult, but the job was essentially taking orders for New Agey books about energies controlling your life forces, and sending out a fourteen-week course and booking seminars. Okay. Well. One week’s course mentioned crystals in passing, which we do not sell, and one day a client called up in a panic, yelling to me that he needed the crystals to finish the lesson for that week! I told him to calm down, and then I said that while we don’t sell them, there’s probably a store in his local mall that does. He sounded relieved and hung up quickly–I guess to get to the mall.

    When I related this to my boss, he grinned, shook his head, and said, “Takes all kinds.”

  • Windy-Lou

    17, working at a boat dealership, I was too naive to know that when one of the salesmen predicted he could tell me what color my nipples were, I should be scared. What scared me was that HE WAS RIGHT!

  • Lisa

    “I watched last night’s security tape and saw you changing clothes in the back room.”

    Totally false, as I would never be stupid enough to change my clothes in a room with a video camera in it.

  • lorrie

    Um, ok, so I was a law clerk. A friend was killed in a grisly motorcycle accident. Her grief stricken parents were coming from Virginia to bury their only daughter. I asked my boss for the time off to go to the funeral and he said “Hey! Do you think you could get the case for our firm? I’ll give you a cut of it!”

  • What the hell?! They’re taking away supersized fries?!?!?!? NO!

    I think you should find the ratter’s email and sign them up for massive amounts of porn. Yes.

  • Jelly

    i am a little overweight. not can’t leave the house, they’re gonna have to knock a wall down to drag my carcass out, fat – but suffice to say, you’ll never see me in a bikini

    my boss was talking to me. i was walking away when she grabbed my arm to get my attention cuz she wanted to tell me something else. before she did, she squeezed my arm and said “Well, I guess I know who we are gonna eat when the plane goes down.”

  • stacey

    Although it was never said to me, I was thrilled to discover that my former employer told the many designers who followed me into that ring of hell, that I was a lesbian with a cocaine problem. I was ok with the lesbian bit, even though I’m straight, I’m a bit butch. But she didn’t pay me enough to afford a coke habit! That was just too insulting.

  • After being in labor for 25 hours and finally having an emergency c-section, I was blissfully dozing when the phone in my hospital room rang at least 5 times in a row, each time ringing about 20 times. Finally, the nurse came in and brought the phone to me. It was my boss wanting to know the answer to a question that 2 other people in the office would have known. She didn’t ask about the baby. I don’t work there anymore.

  • Charla

    During my first week of teaching, the laminating film jammed while I was using the machine. I went to my principal to get help(he wouldn’t allow anyone else to fix it), and he yelled at me “I would give just about anything to work in a school full of men. You women are so stupid.” He is no longer my boss…it seems like he pissed many other people off, too.
    (on a side note, I love reading your posts…I’m a west TN girl, too. Leta is a doll!)

  • michele

    A doctor I worked for once said “I like that lipstick you’re wearing”, along with a waving hand gesture towards his mouth and a squint as though considering something…. I couldn’t tell if it was a compliment, a come-on or if he wanted to borrow it. This was a heterosexual male who had his nails painted with clear polish during his weekly manicure. He also expertly unhooked my bra, under my gown for me, because I didn’t know I had to remove it before a full spinal x-ray.
    I still don’t know what that was all about.

  • “Now if the dolphin starts flipping his ding-dong at the guests, remind them that, though this is a family park, it is still the real deal. Simply ask them not to take pictures. We don’t want people coming here for the dolphin wee-wee.”

  • Former manager to me:
    “If you’re an atheist, then you can’t be a moral person.”
    Former manager to jewish co-worker:
    “Hitler was a genius.”

  • “One of our clients [with whom I had no direct contact] might figure out your name and look you up on Google and poke around your site and stumble on your personal essays and be offended, so you have to take down your entire web site right now. No, not just the essays, the entire web site.”

    I refused and was fired a few days later. The manager who made that stunningly twisted leap of logic was forced out a year later for unrelated reasons, and the company has since gone bankrupt. Fuckers.

  • “Would you mind giving me a backrub?” um, ew and “are you wearing red panties?”

    He was lucky we were drunk at the time 😉

  • i used to work for a guy whose main company was a hazardous waste management business. the paychecks often bounced, and he did things rather illegally. he was on the phone one day to one of his hazwaste employees and said “the fire dept is there? quick, hide in a closet”. my job was to build websites for the other companies he wanted to start. one of which was like amazon.com, but all hardcoded in html with no database. when i pointed out that his prices were a lot higher than amazon’s and that no one would buy from him he said the competition wouldn’t hurt and not to worry about it. he also kept trying to get me to go over to his house to use his scanner for the product page images. and one day i got back from lunch to find him using my own personal laptop that he made me bring from home to use for the job.

  • My boss was the owner and founder of a healthcare software company. She was an insane, micromanaging, workaholic freak who expected undying loyalty and 80 hour weeks just because she gave everyone his or her own office and provided free juice and coffee. Crazy things she said to me:

    1. On a sales trip in Orlando, I am wearing a tasteful white pantsuit with a teal blouse. “Don’t wear pants in the South, they won’t respect you as much. Next time we come South make sure you’re wearing a skirt or a dress.”

    2. On Memorial Day, which everyone has off from work, after I have been with the company for only 2 weeks she calls me at home to say “this RFP needs to be out in 5 days and it’s not nearly close enough to being finished. Come in right now and work on it and call all of the project managers in the company and ask them to come in.” Right.

    Then there was the even more insane boss who offered to deposit my paycheck for me but instead “lost” it (presumably she didn’t have the funds to cover it), didn’t tell me, which resulted in me bouncing checks for weeks without realizing it, and then lied when confronted. After I quit, I offered to take some of the business off her hands because I knew she couldn’t handle it on her own. She declined, and actually said that my behavior had been “stinky” because I had taken advantage of her in a weak moment and tried to steal her business from her. She still owes me over $700.

    Leta is lovely, congratulations. It all gets so much easier after the first 6-8 weeks. Promise.

  • paris

    On the day I got laid off, this past february 18th, my boss took me into a room and told me I was being laid off and it had nothing to do with my abilites as a worker, he said I was a great worker, and that by law he couldn’t tell me the real reason.

  • Bill

    My boss said: You just think you’re smart because you have a PhD and your programs always work, but you’re not so smart because I’m you’re boss and I can’t program worth shit. So, who’s smart, huh?

    Well, I am, I replied. And my he started gasping like a toad who had swallowed a bat. Thought I’d have to give him CPR.

  • A woman who was nominally my supervisor did a Google search for my name, found my site and proceeded to use what she found to harass me into unemployment and relocation over a period of several months.

    Compared to that, the spreadsheet requests I currently get are a piece of cake. Although my favorite one is still the “You changed the background color to black on this chart!” when all I’d done was neglect to un-highlight the cell range when I saved it.

  • eh I’ve only had two bosses so far (i’m 20) and one of them wouldn’t talk to the employees for days if they did something she didn’t like and the other one has short term memory so she forgets everything she said two days ago

  • shlee

    My direct supervisor to a co-worker, who happens to be originally from Mexico. —
    Juan: “This hospital we’re working with really isn’t cooperating.”
    Boss: “What’s wrong Juan? Do you need a taco?”
    Yeesh.

  • Melissa

    I was working as a contractor for a firm and my group was pulled into a morning meeting to talk about new procedures. As we got paid by the job these wonderful new procedures would slow us down tremendously. We had 2 people quit right then and there. But I decided it wouldn’t be so bad I could stick it out. Later that day we had an office wide meeting of about 50 people and were told “Oh and by the way group 4 will be getting no new work. Your’e to finish what’s on your desk and leave.” Hello?! Way to lay off a group of 12 people! Put them in a huge meeting and tell them they don’t have a job after 2 days. Merry X-Mas! (This all happened 6 days before the holiday.)

  • “Can you drive by this address at lunch? My husband and his girlfriend would never recognize your car. I just want to see if he’s there.” Duh and if he is?

  • R.

    “I didn’t realize colored people were so talented.”

    In this century, even.

  • Man, this is all making me feel not so bad about my old boss, who used to jump up and down on the floor screaming in near-falsetto “WE NEVER DO THINGS MY WAY! WE NEVER DO THINGS MY WAY!”
    There was also the complete lack of respect for personal space and the spitting on me and the weird passive-aggressive refusal to tell me what he actually wanted me to do, and his brother who kept trying to look up my skirt, and so on, but…

    Well, what did I know? It was my first job out of college and I thought that was pretty bad. Obviously I have a lot to learn…. once my unemployment checks run out. I just never realized how mild and realistic Dilbert was…

  • wixlet

    In my early twenties, I had the misfortune of working for a lot of really bad bosses. One in particular, who knew my mom was in the final stages of cancer, tried to insist that my presence at our store inventory was more important than my visit with my mother on her last-ever birthday (she died a few weeks after her 45th birthday). This was something I’d planned well in advance, even though our inventory was on the same day. Since I had never worked an inventory before, and didn’t work the sales floor (I was an office assistant), what my boss *really* wanted me to do was to show up to fetch coffee and bagels for the rest of the staff. When I confronted him about the REAL reason he wanted me at the inventory, which he acknowledged, I reminded him that this was the last birthday my mother was ever going to have, and that she was just turning 45. Come hell or high water I was going to celebrate her birthday with her just as I had always done. He said to me, “Well, when you put it like that it makes me feel like a big asshole.” A short time later, this character took (as in, pulled managerial rank to steal) a vacation to the carribbean that two of my coworkers had won in a contest. To the delight of almost everyone who had worked for him, he was fired a few months later.

  • Hrm. I was going to tell the story about how my boss doesn’t know when MediCare is coming to our office this month, but it’s somehow not a surprise….but that is positively pedestrian next to the shockers that have happened to other people. Curse my addled brain – I am shocked by these stories, yet I want something weird to happen to me at work, too, dang it. So that I can have a weird work story. Dang.

  • Peach Pit

    I worked for a major entertainment studio in a demanding role as assistant to a finance department head. After being ill for nearly a week with strep throat and bronchitis, my clueless boss called me into his office and admonished me for my poor job performance during the last few days. (I wasn’t allowed to call in sick). He wanted to know if I was having “maritial problems” because I wasn’t wearing makeup that day. I had no voice left, so all I could do was tearfully squeak out a shocked “NO” because I felt like shit and had to finish my 10-hr. shift, then rush to the daycare provider to pick up my newborn and fight rush hour traffic home for 2 hours. Ah, those were the days!!

  • Mx Lx

    This happens over and over again when I’m at my desk slogging through tedious or mind-numbingly boring work:

    Boss – This is fun right? (waits for answer)
    Me – Nah, its pretty boring (boss walks away)

    (time passes)

    Boss – This is fun right? (waits for answer)
    Me – Neagh (or some other non-committal sound followed by a shrug) (boss walks away)

    (time passes)

    Boss – This is fun right? (waits for answer)
    Me – Yeah, its alright. (masking distain for the aforementioned tedious or mind-numbingly boring work with a smile) (boss walks away happy knowing he’s brightened another employee’s day)

    (With time, this has become much more funny than annoying.)